Mayor Eric Adams pushed back against criticism that his recently announced “quality-of-life” policing initiative is a throwback to the “broken windows” strategy of the 1990s and early 2000s, stating “we won’t go back to abusive policing.”

At a news conference in Brooklyn on Friday, Adams emphasized that the city does not have to sacrifice justice for safety. 

“We are not going backwards, but the city is also not going backwards in crime,” he said. “That is the key here — it’s the balance of justice and safety.”

The initiative, which was announced by the NYPD on Wednesday, will focus on quality-of-life crimes such as public urination, open-air drug selling and “dice games that lead to disputes and shootings.”

By responding to smaller offenses, the NYPD said it will help police tackle more serious, violent crimes.

“Let’s be clear on this, what's not going to happen in the city — you're not going to walk into Duane Reade, take whatever you want and walk out," Adams said. "You’re not going to hop over the counter and take codeine and other drugs and then walk out. 

He went on to say: “You’re not going to just do whatever you want in the city.”

This comes amid a spike in quality-of-life complaints over the last three years, according to officials.

According to a new poll by the Partnership for New York City, a leading business advocacy group, 94% of the private sector workers surveyed said that “not enough is being done to address homelessness and mental illness in the city, followed by assaults and gun violence.” The poll also found that 84% of respondents think conditions have worsened in the past two years and 40% say they are considering moving out of the city.

Adams said that these views are the reason he’s pursuing this new policing initiative.

“New Yorkers want a clean, safe subway system and they want to be able to return to their offices safely — that is who I’m fighting on behalf of and I’m just really proud I’m fighting on behalf of them,” the mayor said.

The new initiative will target neighborhoods in the Bronx and Brooklyn, including Brownsville, East New York, and Cypress Hills, according to authorities.

"To be clear, this is NOT a return to Stop, Question, and Frisk — nor is it ‘policing for numbers,'" Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said in a statement on Wednesday. “This is precision-policing aimed at reducing violence in the neighborhoods seeing disproportionate numbers of shootings — and it is what the public is demanding.”

The mayor maintained that police officers would be held accountable for their actions, and that he would be utilizing police cameras and other technology to do so.

“We’re going to analyze video footage to determine if an officer is violating the law, if he needs re-instruction or if he must be brought up on disciplinary charges for doing something wrong," Adams said.